Cape Don is situated north of Darwin and can be quite interesting to get around. The bays just to the north are good places to wait for the 5 knot + tide to change and sometimes you can catch a reasonable fish there.
There is a lighthouse and believe me it’s necessary.
The 40´ Cape Don is the bigger version of the 32´ Cape Upstart and the smaller version of the 45´ Cape Leveque.
I must admit I enjoyed designing these boats. I think it had something to do with having a bit of fun. Designing this range of boats was refreshing and new.
Every man and his dog are designing huge trawler style power cats with every conceivable extra. The outlay in time, money and angst is astonishing and I believe they wind up owning the owner instead of the other way around. Whereas these boats represent a considerably smaller investment in time, money and grief to build, moor and own. So while I consider these boats minimalist I guess you could describe them as simple, basic but very comfortable.
I know what I consider minimalist now would have been considered debauched luxury a few years ago. I mean things like a sounder, VHF, plotter, fridge, auto pilot and electric anchor winch were simply out of reach a few years ago, now it is considered base level requirements.
They are what I have on my boat and I’m appreciative of them.
I can still do without air-conditioning, washing machine, etc, although sometimes a watermaker appears attractive. So far I haven’t needed one.
These boats are light and strong (as they must be) so they travel reasonably quickly and economically. Like all lightish boats whether it be mono or multi when the weather comes up you will slow down for comfort sake.
There are also simple water ballast tanks. I often fill the tanks on Slim (takes about 3 minutes to put on about 200 kgs per side) in a bouncy wind against tide situation and it settles down wonderfully.
A $50 dollar bilge pump in each tank empty’s them in about 5 mins.
Engines are a matter of personal preference. Outboards can be 2 x 20hp to 60hp or 2 x 21 to 29hp diesel shaft drives. Motor sailing in 10/15 knots of wind with a single 20hp outboard running will return between 6/8 knots at under 2 litres per hour.
A pair of 29hp Nanni diesels will give a max speed of 10/12 knots (probably more) and an 8 knot cruise at under 4lph. If you need real long distance economy then try 6 knots at 1.5lph, yep that’s one point five litres per hour. We have 40´ plus sailing boats already doing this.
The layouts are flexible although the principal bulkheads are cast in stone.
The boat has a front cockpit for access forward and for an alternative socialising area when the sun is beating into the aft cockpit. The front catwalk can be hinged down for instant beach access nearly obviating the need for a dinghy, (well except for crabbing and fishing of course). For hot days nothing beats opening the front of the boat up to let the breeze through.
There is a hatch directly above the helm seat for ventilation on a hot day. More importantly though, the helm seat is stood on with your head and shoulders out through the hatch for steering through reef country. Steering and engine controls are controlled with your prehensile toes (well I do anyway).
12mt - Cape Don
L.O.A.: 12.0 mts
BEAM: 5.5 mts
DISP: 4,700 kgs
DRAFT: 0.5 mts
Headsail only rig - 28 sq mts
2 x 20 hp outboards
2 x 21 / 29 hp diesels